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Princess Diana shook Because of the murder of Gianni Versace, which occurred a month before she was killed in a car accident.
It was July 1997, and the British Queen was spending the summer with her boyfriend, millionaire Egyptian film producer Dodi Al-Fayed, in Saint-Tropez, on the French Riviera. It was there that I learned that the Italian fashion designer had been shot dead on the stairs outside his Miami mansion. Andrew Cunanan, who was suspected of killing four gay men from Minneapolis to New Jersey, was shot twice in the head at point blank range. He was 50 years old.
Before his death, Versace befriended the princess, whose divorce from Prince Charles ended in 1996.
“The security team was talking about it, everyone was safe,” says Lee Sansom, a bodyguard who worked for Al-Fayed’s father, Harrods owner Mohamed Al-Fayed. He told Fox News Digital, “At the time, we thought it was a professional hit the way it was done. And it turned out later that it wasn’t.”
On the 25th anniversary of the king’s death, the former military policeman wrote his memoir titled “Protecting Diana: The Story of a Bodyguard” which detail how he became part of the security detachment that took care of her and her two sons, Princes William and Harry, for what they would have been alive last summer.
The royal vacation took place on board the yacht named Jonikal. After news of Versace’s death spread, Sansom said he bumped into Diana while the rest of the security team were having breakfast.
“I went to the back of the boat,” Sansom recalls. “The princess was there in this very big room with all the windows in the back. So you can see across the sea. She was the only one there, and she was giving her back to me. When I came in, she turned, and she was crying. She came towards me and was talking about Versace. She was very upset. Then She was asking me what [I thought] Event. I was talking to her, trying to belittle her too much. And she was really, really, really tearful.”
Sansom said Diana was so sad that he wanted to hug her.
“But it wasn’t appropriate, one, because of my position and two, it was a princess, and three, if the paparazzi had taken a picture out of a window of me embracing the princess, can you imagine?” He said. “It would have been awful for her [would have] It was terrible for me. So, despite all my instincts, I kind of backed off.”
Sansom said that Diana looked him in the eyes.
“She asked me, do you think they would kill me?” “She was very concerned about the potential risks to her life at the time. I said, ‘You are safe here.'” You have great security. We will not let anything happen to you. ” [I] I just tried to give her some confidence that she was safe… She stopped crying, but she was really upset… [And] I made a quick exit.”
Sansom said Diana came across “as a normal person, just like you and just like you,” which proved to be “a breath of fresh air.” However, protecting the royal family while they are enjoying a holiday with their new beau has not been easy. Paparazzi swept the yacht daily, desperately trying to take any pictures of Diana.
“It was a very complicated and complicated situation,” Sansom said. “The paparazzi at the time could pretty much do whatever they wanted… Some of the photos the paparazzi took of her would sell for a million euros. So there was a lot at stake for the paparazzi. It wasn’t the photos in particular that they were afraid because they were going to be taken Pictures wherever you go, but the size of the paparazzi and the measures they were prepared for [take] And follow us, to chase us… and get as close as possible.”
“It was just crazy,” he continued. “There were hundreds around us. We were seeing boats everywhere. There was a helicopter flying around just to try and get a bullet… The princess was used to all this, but we weren’t. Mohamed Al Fayed was a high-ranking person in the UK, so we used to Having the press around us, but they took it to the next level. When we were on the jet skis, they were also on the sea… It was dangerous sometimes. There were times when I had to say, ‘You can’t go out today’… We did our best to ensure everyone had a happy holiday.”
According to Sansom, Diana told him there was nothing she could do about the relentless paparazzi in the UK. However, she was thinking about her future and the possibility of moving to the United States where she could “get away from it all”.
“It was Dodi” place in californiaSansom explained. We had the impression that this is where you’re headed. Not necessarily staying with him but in the same area. Before the trip, we knew there would be work too. I put my name to go to the states. I have many families in the United States. I thought it would be a great opportunity for me to go there, but it clearly didn’t happen.”
“You talked to me about moving to the states,” he said. “She said the press hated her in the UK. She didn’t know why, but in the US the people there loved her, the press loved her there. She felt safe there. She felt welcome there. Then I asked her, ‘What about the boys?'” Will you be able to take them with you?” She said, “No, they would never let me do that. I’ll only see them during school time, school holidays, vacations, and things like that.”
Media scrutiny intensified during Diana’s escape. Sansom said she worked with the security team to arrange a time when photographers could take pictures for a certain amount of time in the hope that they would disappear during the day. At first, the plan worked. But in the end, “they became too much,” Sansom said. He also described how the British press criticizes Diana, insisting that she was only seeking attention and sympathy after her divorce from Charles.
One tabloid even went so far as to publish an unflattering photo of Camilla Parker-Bowles, with whom Charles had an affair During his marriage to Diana.
“I think the headline was something like ‘Prince Charles dropped this for that,'” Sansom said. “And next to Camilla was this beautiful picture of Princess Diana. At the time, no one was safe from the paparazzi…I remember one of the boys, who was working, said to her, ‘What do you think of this?’ She simply said, ‘Well, it’s his choice.’ Then I moved forward. I thought it takes a lot of confidence to not be upset about it. “
After the trip, Sansom said he received a deep note from Diana personally thanking him for helping keep her and her sons safe while they were on vacation.
According to Sansom, he was not assigned to look after Al-Fayed when he headed to Paris with Diana. Instead, his friend Trevor Rhys-Jones, who was part of the security detail in Saint-Tropez, was given the task. He was badly injured in the car accident that killed the couple, as well as the driver, Henri Paul. At the time, the car was speeding as the paparazzi were chasing it.
“modern of the age” [before the accident] “We need to reinforce this,” Sansom said. “The boys were saying, ‘We need to send more men.'” “But the trip was supposed to be quiet.”
Sansom said he, along with the rest of the world, were shocked to hear the fatal crash. He doesn’t believe in the many conspiracy theories that have surfaced over the years, but wonders what could have been done differently to avoid such a tragic incident.
Today, Sansom said he hopes his story offers a different perspective “without a hidden agenda.”
“The way you interacted with me and the team was straight from the heart,” he said. “…some things that happened on vacation They are not in the book. They’re a little bit more private, and I’ll never talk about it… but it’s a story about how an ordinary guy from a working-class background, whose only passion is martial arts… lived such a wonderful life. “